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The Hardest Choice...

I would say there is never a right time to quit a job, but if you don't feel you are in the right place, then you might regret not taking the chance to do something else. I gave up something that I knew wasn't for me and by chance I found the right job, one I didn't even know existed before I saw the ad in the newspaper. Do you really want to be in senior management in a place you are not really keen on now? If you like the place you are going and feel it is for you, then go for it, follow your instincts, you will soon learn what you need to learn, especially if is something you want to do.

Nobody can know what the future holds, but that is no reason for not giving it a go.

A small example, my daughter left a well paid job with security to go to another which seemed to offer everything she wanted. It was soon apparent that they had not been telling the truth about the role, she tried her best but there were too many restrictions and no money to do the job she had been expecting. However she persevered and did what she could with the few resources she had but eventually she had to leave because of the actions of her manager. She left with no job to go to, and I supported her in the decision because it just wasn't worth being in a bad place. She had applied a month or so earlier for a couple of jobs, but hadn't heard anything, but a week later she got phone calls asking her to go for an interview at two places. She was offered one job before going for the second interview and took it because she had a good feeling about it. It was the best thing she could possibly have done and is very happy and successful in her new role, but, and this is the point, without the experience of that horrible job she would never have got the one she has now. you on the other hand are going from an iffy job to something closer to what you want to do and which may well lead on to a future that puts you where you want to be, and you never know how useful your work experience to date will be in another place. Nobody knows what the future holds, but it is more than likely you will regret not taking an opportunity to do what you want.

(if you applied for the PhD posts it suggests that you want a change, and therefore senior mangement or not, you are not going to be fulfilled in your present work. I would take the opportunity and let the future take care of itself:-)).

Thesis on turnitin (plagiarism)

i have heard that it will retain a copy, so if you upload it again it will recognise it, but I think there is some way of getting it to ignore your own work - but have not submitted anything to it yet so haven't investigated further.

Supervisor Involvement

My advice to you is go and make a fuss. I had to do this and I only found out that other students received far more help than I did when I started to go to a student group set up by one of the other professors, and was very very patient. However when I did finally make enough fuss for them to realise something was wrong with my supervision and they gave me a new team (there were a few hiccoughs there too) there were so many things that needed doing I have virtually rewritten both the chapters that my previous supervisor said was really good and gave me back with few comments etc. It has put me a year behind BUT I now believe the thesis is back on track and will be much better. I was struggling to fit my research into the ideals of my supervisor (and I am sure it would have been OK as he would have chosen the 'right' external), but it was impossiblefor me to square the circle and he was just unable to see the problem. Well actually I only saw him a few times as he was always busy doing something else but sent emails - sometimes. The outcome has been positive and I wish I had done it sooner.

Unemployed, no idea what I want to do anymore :(

I think you need to do what others have said and think of the things you do like doing. That will be a start. If you hate the idea of spending your time in science, then you need to look elsewhere. If you don't want to teach, then don't do it, it is something you have to want to do - and not just for the holidays or the money - you will also have to defer to people in a way that you might not find appealing. (enough said there I think:$) If you need a breathing space, go for some mindless job to tide you over whilst you find something. A careers advisor should be available to you , if so, give it a whirl. They may well come up with something you would never have thought of on your own. good luck

Dissertation Survey...PLEASE HELP!!

done it, hope it will be useful

Word length of chapters?

I'm in education too - but have been told that the lengths can vary! If you know that your supervisor has an idea about who will examine this then they may tailor the lengths as necessary, bearing in mind what the examiner likes - mine says she likes to keep them all to around 6000 or so so that each chapter can be read easily in one sitting, which I supose makes a bit of sense -but does depend on the number of chapters you have.

Quantitative Analysis

the way I have approached this is to look at others who have used this method of research. there are a few, but I haven't that file to hand at the moment, there is one I remember on drugs or use of drugs, and another that used a site to look at the group's take on feeding babies, if you put in a search for internet studies I am sure there must be more by now. There is a book, internet communication and qualitative research by Mann and Stewart which may help you. I am using this method, but in a rather different setting because it is a group I belong to, and have been a member of for a long time. I used a questionnaire, but am analysing other things too. Also it is not a 'chat room' it is probably best described as an online conference setting - it allows those who cannot get to the (now non-existent) - meetings that are necessary to keep people up to date, and to help solve problems that arise due to the nature of the work. The site is closed so only bona fide members can answer - there is no way others can get in to look at the data or add comments - or pretend to be a member. you need to think about the nature of the people who are members, and if they are representative of all people who come into the category you are looking at, why they may differ and whether or not this is a problem, why you used the method - time, geographicailly useful, hard to reach group etc.,is there an opportunity to question any further, do you want/need to do this and so on. there is a lot to say, and quite a bit to justify.

help needed

I have changed supervisors, it was a hard decision and is not quite finalised yet, but wil be soon. My original sups were just too busy really, and had their own agenda, which would probably have been OK as they would get the right people to examine it who were on their wavelength, but the problem was it really changed the focus I was aiming for, and I spent the best part of last year trying to work out how I could remain true to my original thoughts whilst taking the angle that I know they wanted, without any real chance to discuss the problems as they were never available. The process of change was traumatic and lengthy as there was no-one who wanted to take it on and there was a failed attempt here too. However someone has been found, and it all seems to be going well so far...except that I have to start again with the chapters that had already been signed off as being very good, because of the change in the way my now supervisors thinkthe material should be presented. However the process will, I think produce a better end product - I hope. Having someone who is willing to put in the effort to guide you through the process is worth the angst you will feel about making the change, when I found out the amount of help others were getting it was obvious that my supervision was falling well short of the mark, even for other part timers, and that is when I decided to do something about it, do it sooner rather than later and you won't regret it.

which type are you?

think I would like to be 8 too, but am probably more likely to be 6, or 2 - although I often had to forgo lunchbreak at lunchtime because something was needed,, and therefore have lunch at about 3.30 :$

write up rant...well more an ongoing grumble actually

i think maybe you need to get yourself out of the limbo you are in, everything is up in the air and perhaps you need to get some of the things grounded so:

you need to get this finished,you are so close to the end that anything else would be a real let down, and you would forever be thinking 'if only' so this must be your goal.

to achieve this goal you must not starve or be on the street either would mean work would grind to a halt, so this is not an option.

you need some stability without constant worry about what to do next

moving back home would appear to be the best bet as it will give you food and somewhere to live - and will also remove the constant worry which is no doubt pervading everything else, so sooner rather than later maybe? It might not be ideal, but it would probably be better than your present situation. Once there you would have the stability you need to get on and get things finished.

You may be able to find some work leading up to Christmas there are usually some temporary things going for that period which would give you some money, and also maybe a bit of a break - if you don't get the draft in before Christmas, don't worry, you will come back to it refreshed, and in any case you can regard it as thinking time. If there is still nothing available you will just be able to get on and finish more quickly.

Supervisors can be a bit of a nightmare, mine has been for the last year when they were just totally unavailable for anything, and they were not that available before that. Eventually I made a few big waves and after a false start with someone else I have now been given a new one - who has rubbished everything the original supervisor said was good, so basically I'm starting again, just 3 years later, however I am going to be positive about this, although it isn't easy, and hope for the best. You can do this too, in a while they won't be your supervisor any more because you will have passed, and then you won't have to worry what they say!

don't regard your PhD as a waste of time, I expect you were enthusiastic when you first started, so try and remember those days it might help. :-)

Good luck


new supervisor want to change everything

My first supervisor is probably the world expert in his field and I can only think that he wanted it written to match his own ideas, and probably knew who he was going to get to do the viva and the views thay would want to hear. The trouble was he changed universities and spent a lot of time doing other things and therefore basically didn't have the time to do his supervising as well. I guess it is one of the problems of researching an area that no-one has done before that there isn't anyone who really knows what you are on about - I could actually quote this new person as showing exactly the thinking of the 'lay' person to the subject:$. Funnily enough - as long as they agree to my changes to the chapter headings and the order of the chapters that is - I think it has finally allowed me to sort out exactly what direction I should be taking as far as structure order and content goes. The problem is that it will involve a complete rewrite of the whole thing so far.

new supervisor want to change everything

I now have a new supervisor at last and was looking forward to actually getting someone who would actually do something. I sent them all the work I have done so far as they requested, including the two chapters that were regarded as more or less finished at a suitably high standard by my other supervisors 18 months ago, and the new one has said they are not as they should be, and suggesting one of the so-called finished ones is only suitable as a very rough first draft, other stuff that the old ones said was OK in the appendix should be moved to the main text, and that is just the start. The very temporary substitute supervisor(lasted a few weeks before saying they didn't want to do it) never said this, neither has anyone else. Looks like it is going to be a long year as everything I have done so far needs rewriting! I can't understand why the first supervisor could be so far off the mark with this, and why no-body else came to the same conclusion as this new supervisor. Yet another reason for a refund of the fees for last year I think :-(

Supervisor about to leave

My sueprvisor left last year, and the whole of this year has been a really difficult time. They said they would be available, but other things have intervened leaving me with no proper supervisor for the whole year, and what is more all the 'systems' supposed to be in place to prevent this kind of thing happening failed misrably to highlight this. Result is that I am way behind, and although I now have a new supervisor, (I have had FIVE first supervisors so far and two directors of study) they have rubbished all the things that the old supervisor thought were good, so in reality I am back to square one. My thoughts therefore are:
don't expect that your old supervisor will be able to help you as much as you may want as they will have other things to do
make sure that a new set of supervisors are in place ready to go
prepare for the new people to want changes
if things are not as you want, complain early, don't think that next week all will be sorted. i did this and they just let things slide until I finally lost patience with them.

Help! Participants desperately needed

Done it, but wish you had put a box so that I could have explained some of the answers a bit more. for example, you never asked if parents were separated or divorced, or other life experiences which affected some of my answers.

Structure of Supervision

what I was going to say is that you need to make sure that the supervisors know what you want from them. Arrange meetings to suit you as much as possible ...and don't do what I did which was to keep on assuming that the reply you were expecting will actually arrive in the near future and let that turn into months.

I know the fees are supposed to pay for a lot of things, but the point is that all students should have the same standard of supervision, and those in charge should ensure that is what happens. I don't accept that they are too busy, if they are that busy they shouldn't accept students and if they can't be bothered they shouldn't accept students either